MANCHESTER, U.K. & NORTH CHESTERFIELD, Va.—C4X Discovery Holdings plc (C4XD), a drug discovery company, recently announced that it had signed a licensing agreement with Indivior UK Ltd.—a subsidiary of U.S.-based Indivior—to further develop and commercialize C4XD’s oral orexin-1 receptor antagonist (C4X3256) for the treatment of addiction. C4X3256 aims to treat addiction by targeting the “craving” process itself and, therefore, can be applied across a broad range of substance use disorders. The treatment of addiction represents a substantial area of unmet medical need, forecast to be worth an estimated $13 billion per annum in 2018.
Under the terms of the agreement, C4XD will receive an upfront payment of $10 million and could receive up to $284 million of potential development, regulatory and commercialization milestones, in addition to royalties. In turn, Indivior receives a global and exclusive license to C4X3256 and all other compounds in the same patent family and is responsible for the cost and execution of all further development of C4X3256. The agreement covers the development of orexin-1 antagonists for multiple indications.
C4X3256 has the potential to represent a major new method of treating addiction and related disorders. The orexin-1 receptor is considered to be central to the brain’s craving and reward pathways, but to date, a lack of specificity has hindered clinical development. C4XD’s drug discovery engine has allowed the discovery of a highly specific orexin-1 antagonist that targets orexin-1 but not orexin-2, which is targeted in the treatment of insomnia. C4X3256 is a novel, potent, selective oral orexin-1 antagonist said to have excellent preclinical efficacy and tolerability in several preclinical models of addiction.
“C4X Discovery is a pioneer in drug discovery and today’s licensing agreement with Indivior, a world leader in developing and commercializing treatments for addiction, highlights the ability of our drug discovery engine to generate best-in-class small-molecule candidates in high value therapeutic areas,” said Dr. Clive Dix, CEO of C4X Discovery. “Our goal is to drive returns through early-stage revenue-generating deals with the pharmaceutical industry. This agreement will allow us to accelerate the development of our portfolio to similar successful commercial arrangements and validates our business model.”